tv CNN Newsroom CNN November 12, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PST
www.vitac.com right now, new video emerging of former president bill clinton. he says president obama needs to make things right with people who can't keep their current health care plans as he had promised. and right now, the justice department says american airlines and us airways can indeed merge. provided they take some steps designed to help their low cost competitors. what will it take to create the world's biggest carrier? and right now, a ticking time bomb in the philippines. people are desperately waiting for food and clean water. but in the middle of the standing water and the dead bodies, there is the threat of even deadlier outbreaks of disease.
>> hello, i'm wolf blitzer in washington today. new video emerging that could cause major headaches for the white house over obama care. this is the former president of the united states, bill clinton, talking about the problems with the affordable care act. in an interview with the website ozy.com. listen to this. >> i met a young man just this week who has a family, two children. bought in the individual marketplace. his policy was canceled and one was substituted for it that doubled his premium. now, are i asked him, i said the same coverage? he said yeah. i said, but are your copays and deductibles the same? he said no, they're much, much lower. he said in the years when i use health care, i might actually save money but he said we're all young and healthy. so i personally believe even if it takes a change in the law,
the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they've got. >> powerful words from the former president of the united states. senior white house correspondent jim acosta is in the white house briefing room getting ready for the jay carney briefing. dana bash is up on capitol hill. jim, we'll get to you in a moment. i know that briefing is about to begin. let's go to dana though. the former president's remarks pretty significant in this on going battle between a lot of republicans and some democrats on capitol hill and the white house about the president's promise that he made, if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. >> that's right. i can tell you that sources close to bill clinton and those in the administration who i'm communicating with are both trying to downplay the importance of these remarks saying he's not saying anything that different from what president obama himself said, that he wants to fix it. he's directed his team at the white house to look for ways to fix the problems so that people who really do want to keep their
current plans can do that. however, wolf, you know this, as well if not better than anybody. bill clinton doesn't tend to say things by accident and he is also somebody who is basically become almost an oracle for this administration on many issues but especially of late on the health care issue. they really turn to him to try to explain health care and the health care law before it was up and running. this is one of the many reasons why this is a big deal. he's not alone. you're hearing more and more from democrats here on capitol hill they're feeling pressure. one of them who actually expressed that is the number two democrat in the senate. he told ashleigh banfield maybe there do need to be some changes. this is dick durbin earlier today. >> we need to look at the political reality and open to constructive changes to make this law work better. but there are those, frankly, who don't want it to work at all. if those on the other side are willing to sit down in a constructive fashion, move us toward our goal making health
insurance available to more and more americans and reducing costs, that's a good positive thing to do. i would say to president clinton, if we can bring that bipartisan group together, wook start to solve some of the problems we're facing >> now, that last part of what he said is critical. if we can bring people together. that is not -- that is a lot easier said than done. what is already happening on capitol hill is republicans who run the house have already got legislation they plan to have a vote on later this week saying if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. and there are some senate democrats, including mary landrieu and a few others up for re-election next year who have legislation along those lines. however, seeing something that could pass the senate, pass the house that they could actually agree on is a big question mark. i think at this point, the only way this could get fixed legislatively is if these vulnerable democrats work with
the white house and do something hand in glove absomething that maybe house republicans would find hard to say no to being the fact they have been so aggressive trying to make clear the president didn't keep the promise that he said he was going to do, that people could keep their health care plans. >> and dana, let's just repeat what the former president bill clinton said. he said i personally believe, even if it takes a change in the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they've got." legislatively, given the republican majority in the house of representatives, you're right. it's going to be difficult to get new laws passed that would strengthen, in effect, obama care. i guess the question is, does the president have authority through executive decisions, executive orders if you will, on his own to make those kinds of changes and force insurance companies, for example, to honor the kinds of health care plans that people had that they liked that they no longer have. >> it's a great question, one
that it seems president obama doesn't know the answer to. he would be pretty clear in an interview last week with nbc he's directed his team to find out if there is something that they can do, and they are looking into it to figure out if there is a way that they can, through hhs or by just through the executive branch without having to deal with the chaos that tends to be congress a way to fix this. it's unclear what the answer is. i know that there are a lot of conversations going on as we speak to try to get the answer to that that question in the meantime, because this is such a politically sort of political dynamite, it's becoming that way, particularly for these vulnerable democrats in the senate, you are going to see them be much more aggressive, already are and saying they want to have a legislative fix. you'll also see republicans in the house be more aggressive saying they want a legislative fix. for now, there's a lot of political messaging going on. gives them the ability to say they have a legislative fix, whether or not that can actually
become a reality, we don't know. they're trying to figure that out as we speak. >> the former president bill clinton livening it up, if you will. this entire debate. as he often does on many issues. thanks very much for that, dana, we'll have much more on the story later. this other important news we're following including american airlines and us airways are now set to merge into the world's biggest air carrier. in the past couple hours, the justice department here in washington announced the settlement that paves the way for the megamerger. first the airlines have to satisfy a key concern that officials lodged in an anti-trust lawsuit, a concern that combining the carriers would reduce choices for many customers and give the company, in effect, a stranglehold at certain major airports. rene marsh is here watching this had story for us. what are you hearing, rene? what's going on. >> following this announcement, we are going through the details of this deal struck between both
doj and american and us airways to make this merger move forward. so as a part of the deal, the two the airlines are required to sell slots at at seven major airports. we're talking about airports at places like new york's laguardia, miami, boston, logan airport. they will have to give up some of those slots. if you remember, the department of justice filed this lawsuit, an a lawsuit to block this $1 billion merger. the reason why they did that is they thought it would be bad news for consumers. they thought this would lead to less options for consumers and higher ticket prices, fast forward to today and now we know that they have come together, come to the table and the heart of all of this today, wolf, is that this major airline once it combines, it will have to give up slots at places like reagan national airport here in washington, d.c. because the department of justice, the main concern was let's say at reagan,
they'd have control of some 69%. >> rene, thanks very much. jay carney, the president secretary answering reporters' questions. >> he said "the enrollment period did not come off well because the national website wasn't ready." but this happened when president bush put in the medicare drug program for seniors which was not as complicated but had the same problem with the rollout. it was a disaster. there were people that lost their prescriptions for existing medicine and they fixed it. so the president as you know, has pledged to ask his team, to ask his team to look at potential actions that could be taken to address this problem. because his focus is on making sure that people get quality and affordable health insurance. >> what the president said appears to be slightly different from what president clinton said. president clinton seems to be talking about anybody losing their plan and what the president said and officials afterwards said was that they were focused more on people who were getting cancellations and maybe weren't getting subsidies
to cover higher premiums. so is what president obama is looking at more narrow than -- >> certainly, the point we've made is that for more than half of those on the individual market who because their plans were not grandfathered in, they did not exist or they were not participants in those plans prior to the passage of the affordable care act, more than half those individuals will have higher quality insurance with better basic protections at the same or lower cost. roughly half. maybe that is roughly half. more than half will qualify for subsidies. some will qualify for medicaid in those states where medicaid has been expanded. for the universe of people, that smaller group of people within that 5% of the population for whom the fact that they've gotten a cancellation notice because they purchased plans perhaps in the last couple of years that do not meet the minimum standards and they are
facing challenges in terms of afford be the, the president has asked his team to look at ways to address that is problem. that goes to the point he made about the vast majority of americans here who if they're an employer provided insurance or medicare or medicaid or va will not have any changes if they don't want them. the only changes they'll see have to do with improvements to benefits. >> reporter: another point on health care, there already some reports out about enrollment numbers putting them at 40,000 to 50,000. can you confirm those numbers are accurate and if not, can you tell us when the administration expects to put out numbers? >> sure, i cannot confirm those numbers. there have been a variety of reports saying a variety of different things. the administration will be releasing data about enrollment in the middle of the month. i anticipate it be later this week. as we said all along, consistent
with the way the data like this is released for other programs. so i would add two things. first, it was always the case, even prior to the problems with the launch of the website, that enrollment in the first month would be low. that is the experience we saw in massachusetts. and it is the experience we expect here because especially for healthier younger people, the pattern of behavior is to shop around to wait before you purchase when you don't have to purchase before december 15th in order to have insurance on january 1st, which the earliest possible date for coverage. we expect that pattern to play out with the marketplaces in the affordable care act. secondly, the fact that the website has been so challenging and so problematic in that first month means that the enrollment numbers will be even lower than expected. beyond that, i don't have specific figures. i have not seen specific
figures. but i anticipate we will be releasing data about enrollment by the end of the week. >> but you don't have a specific date? >> i do not. mark. >> thanks, jay. the president spoke last week about gaps and problems with the rollout of the website that need to be fixed. what are those gasp and what fixes would you -- >> well, he was referring to, and i'll quote, "i've assigned my team to see what we can do to close some of the who else and gaps in the law." he was addressing the issue of cancellations and some concerns he has about individuals who have had their existing policies canceled. and that issue has obviously gotten a lot of attention. the problems with the website, which you just mentioned, are being addressed by a team of tech experts as well as by jeff zients who is overseeing that team. and they essentially have a punch list of problems that need to be fixed in different areas of the website. they've been working through that punch list.
and making progress. gradual progress each day. there's no question that the website is functioning better today than it was a week ago or ten days ago and certainly much better than it was in the first two weeks of october. but there is more work to be done as mr. zients has said. so that work continues. and our goal is to have that website functioning effect forgivetively for the vast majority of americans by the end of this month. >> if it's not up to par by the end of the month, do you have a plan b in place, alternative? >> we expect it to be functioning effectively for the vast majority of americans by the end of the month. what we have been doing since the issues with the website arose has focused, you know, we've expanded our efforts to create ways through which americans can get more information about the options available to them both by
in-person consultations or over the phone. they can also apply and enroll by mail so those efforts continue. but we expect, and i'm citing here those closer to the ground that the site will be functioning effectively by the end of the month for the vast majority of users. i think i said last week and i think i said the week before that any website of this size and complexity will occasionally have issues with it. that's true of major web sighs today in the commercials here, but we expect it to be functioning effectively for the vast majority of users so that they can navigate through it, review their options, find out whether or not they're eligible for tax credits, and choose coverage that fits their needs, both their financial needs and their coverage needs. >> can you say whether i todd
hart will testify for congress tomorrow? >> i can say a couple of things about that. first of all, i'd like to point out the administration's extraordinary cooperation with the six separate congressional committees currently conducting oversight into the affordable care act as you have all seen and covered. administration officials have testified at numerous committee interviews and briefings. and they've testified at more than two dozen congressional hearings, including four in just the last two weeks. the administration has also produced thousands of pages of documents and our cooperation on these issues continues. the subpoena issued by house republicans on friday is an unfortunate and unnecessary step since we made clear several times that todd parking is willing to testify. the issue for us is not a question of if he will testify but when. we had hoped the committee would work with us to find an alternative date to give mr. park time to focus on his immediate task at hand, which is getting the website fixed.
this is a goal that is ostensibly shared by the very house republicans now demanding his appearance on wednesday. an appearance that would take him away from his work on the website. in fact, chairman issa told cbs news a few weeks ago he wanted the website fixed and "fixed quickly." well, todd park is very much engaged in the effort of fixing it as quickly as possible. so i have no update on that except to tell you that the office of science and technology has said they are reviewing the subpoena and they will respond as appropriate. >> just ask about iran. >> sure. >> iran's i guess foreign minister has sort of rejected the claim that iran that was the result of the failure to reach an agreement recently has said that divisions among western nations were the cause of the failure of the talks. can you comment on that? is it really up to the west to -- >> what i can tell you is simply
that the p 59 plus one were unified on the proposal that was put forward. and that the iranians did not accept that proposal. and that's a statement of fact. there was important progress made at these negotiations. and they were cordial and substantive and serious. but as i said, the p5-plus-1 were united there and we remain united in our proposal to iran and our approach to these negotiations. gaps remain and there are still important issues to be addressed between the p5-plus-1 and iran and that is why there will be a break and the p5-plus-1 will resume negotiations with iran aaron november 21st and 22nd. >> the white house press secretary saying basically what we heard john kerry saying the allies were united in their position going forward with iran.
it was iran that re-jebed that position put forward what's called the p5-plus-1, but negotiations will resume on november 20th in geneva. we're going to speak later this hour with senator bob menendez the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee on this split that appears to be developing between the obama administration and many members of congress, including some democrats as well as republicans when it comes to iran and its nuclear program. you also hard a lot from carney on this latest development, the former president of the united states, bill clinton suggesting that the president and the administration should find a way to honor that pledge that they made to the american people, that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it and maybe that means a change in the law. other news we're following including the forecast secretary of state hillary clinton may not necessarily be alone in 2016 when it comes to democratic candidates. there's talk now another influential woman potentially hitting the campaign trail.
we're going to tell you what's going on, the possible impact. lots more news coming up right after this. i have a 401k retirement plan. i started part-time, now i'm a manager. my employer matches my charitable giving. really. i get bonuses even working part-time. where i work, over 400 people are promoted every day. healthcare starting under $40 a month. i got education benefits. i work at walmart. i'm a pharmacist. sales associate. i manage produce. i work in logistics. there's more to walmart than you think. vo: opportunity. that's the real walmart. other news we're following lots more news coming up right i'm only in my 60's.
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i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. 0 to politics. sarah palin over the weekend was at a faith and freedom coalition banquet in iowa, talking about people worshipping the church of government. her words. this morning, she sat down with our own jake tapper. he caught up with sarah palin to talk about several issues. she's out there promoting a new book. she also is promoting her appearances and her political thoughts. listen to this. >> thank you so much. >> so i know you wouldn't vote for hillary clinton if she ran for president, but i remember in '0 after you got the nod, you talked about the unfair media treatmenting that hillary clinton got when she was running for president. >> yes, yes. >> and you probably feel like you got some of that unfair media treatment, as well.
sexism. what, if there's any woman out there thinking of running for president, what can she expect? >> she could expect that sexism but you overcome it. you ignore it. you do, you thicken your skin and you march forth with your message, your priorities, your agenda that you believe is right for america. yeah, hillary clinton was mistreated when it came to appearances, when it came to to wardrobe. you know, petty superficial things that the men don't ever seem to hear much about. but a woman candidate will. >> governor christie hears about his appearance. >> that's because it's been extreme, okay? so it's hard to -- it's hard for some people not to comment on it. >> you can watch jake's full interview with sarah palin later this afternoon, 4:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn on his program "the lead." talk of presidential possibilities is gaping steam for at least one first term senator. elizabeth hez warren of
massachusetts. she's speaking right now at a financial reform event here in washington. as our aaron mcpike reports, a warren campaign in 2016 could make things very interesting. not only in washington but as well as on wall street. >> with fund-raising and speaking engagements from coast to coast, hillary clinton continues to dominate the 2016 presidential speculation. >> thank you. >> but it's an unapologetic liberal who could stir things up. >> you don't get anything you don't fight for, but if you fight, you got a chance to win. >> first term massachusetts senator elizabeth warren. >> i don't want to go to the united states senate to be there for women some of the time. i want to go to the united states senate to be there for women all of the time. >> she's another fast rising star who could make history and might threaten a clinton democratic coronation if they both run for the white house three years from now.
>> hillary has run once before as the inevitable nominee. another fresh face came along with an issue and was able to be excite passions among the democratic rank and file. i don't think it's crazy. >> warren is a former harvard professor who burst onto the scene in 2008 when harry reid tapped her to oversee the controversial bank bailout. next, she urged president obama to create a government entity to protect consumers and finances. the left wanted her to lead it, but banks and republicans balked. >> it is so good to be here with so many progressives. i love it! >> instead, she took on massachusetts senator scott brown in 2012 and won after a sharp and expensive campaign. in the senate, she got right to business, grilling financial regulators like at the senate banking committee hearing which produced a video that became an internet sensation earlier this
year. >> tell me a little bit about the last few times you've taken the biggest financial institutions on wall street all the way to a trial. anybody? >> aaron mcpike is joining us now. erin, has see publicly supported hillary clinton as the democratic potential nominee in 2016? >> wolf, not publicly. secretly because according to sources, all 16 of the democratic women in the senate signed a letter to hillary clinton urging her to run for president. elizabeth warren hasn't talked about this publicly. on her way into the speech earlier this hour, cnn tried to talk to her about this idea of her running for president. she has said publicly that she does not plan to run. and it would seem like a warren candidacy is contingent on hillary clinton not running for president. it's progressive groups really trying to draft her into the race. they're urging the media to take
a look at her. >> a lot of these prerogative groups don't necessarily trust hillary clinton. >> that's right. >> erin mcpike reporting for us. the obama administration is hoping it can still make a deal with iran on its nuclear activities. while talks are on hold, right now iran is still riching uranium. are tougher u.s. international sanctions the answer? we'll ask the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee standing by live. that's next. [ tires screech ] ♪ [ male announcer ] 1.21 gigawatts. today, that's easy. ge is revolutionizing power. supercharging turbines with advanced hardware and innovative software. using data predictively to help poentire cities. so the turbines of today... will power us all... into the future. ♪ committee standing by live. [ male announcer ] this is jim,
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18 percent? 20? new purina one true instinct has 30. active dogs crave nutrient-dense food. so we made purina one true instinct. learn more at purinaone.com secretary of state john kerry heads to capitol hill tomorrow. he'll testify in negotiations to try to curb iran's nuclear ambitions. the latest round of talks ended saturday failed to produce an agreement. kerry says he's still hopeful an agreement can be reached. >> this is not aac to mplete just any agreement. no deal is better than a bad deal, i have said many times, as has president obama. >> negotiations will resume in geneva on november 20th. of new jery i jning us now,ndez he's the chairman of the senate foreign reeses committee. thanks very much for coming in.
>>ed goo to be with you, wolf. >> you have a tough article in the "usa today," an op-ed among other things, you say a so-called iranian charm offensive is simultaneously matched by an actual offensive to cross the nuclear weapons threshold. unlike the obama administration, you want to see the united states and other allies tighten, toughen sanctions against iran right now. right? >> well, look, i'm all for a diplomatic pursuit and avenue. and i have been supportive of it, but ithinterim, if iran ve is going to continue topenrich uranium,ft's goingo coue to produce domestically ce:nt continueo construct a heavy wat iraq, ultimately i don't see why we should stop our efforts t trmarc towards nlear ke want co increasehe sanctiogainst
iran eve as theseeneva are tomoow. e negoio are i essence what the essence of the negotiations are, i amusly serio concerned that we are doing very little in the interim top affec iran'sruu giving it significant sanctions relief. any sancons, perfecting sanction that we would propose would not be effective for anywhere between six months and ayear. i've authored several of these. ey alw time to kick into effect. for the united states and the y west if iran doesn't ultimately strike a it would also be incentive to the iranians to uerstand we are serious of purpose ifhey dot strike deal. i hope they ca s a deal. buhis insistence that iran has that it has a right towards
nuclear enrichment is nonexistent. it a u.n. existing fact. and we have ighbor wolf, right here in the northern hemisphere, canadian and mexico. they have civilian nuclear programs. but they don't enrich domestically. iran can have a civilianuclear program for peaceful if purposes but don't have to enrich in order to acquire that. >> the aed i you belve secretary kerry and i do, they rejected the latest proposal put forw by t u.s. a the other allies in geneva. but if they would have accepted that proposal, let's say for six months, there would have been a so-called freeze in the iranian nuclear program. during those six months, the international community would have easedhe sanctions against iran. would you have been okay with th? ell, not on the basis of public reports. now, we'll see tomorrow in the public reports are wrong, but if all we're doing is saying to
iran, okay, reduce your 20% of enriched uranium to a much lower percentage, but we allow them to keep their sentry futures that exist, we don't stop the production of new more sophisticated centrifuges and we don't halt the construction of the plutonium-producing nuclear plant, then i don't think we have accomplished very much of anything. this is the equivalent ofaving a football game where you continue to march up towards the goal line, you get pushed back maybe for 10 or 15 yards, but you've got everything in play to continue to try to, you know, make a touch down. that's where the iranians are. if past is prologue, wolf, we have to be concept tickle of president rouhani when he was iran's nuclear negotiator years ago said i was able to convince the west not to sanction us and at the same time, we were allowed to continue our nuclear program. what that's brought us today is
that we have such an advanced nuclear program in iran that there are those suggesting we're going to have toccept some level of enrichment in iran. if we continue to allow that process to go, the next thing is that they will have crossed the ability to the ultimately achieve nuclear weapons and then we're in a very difficult circumstance not only for our national security but we have one of the most incredibly tippeder boxes place in the world a rush toward nuclear weapons with turkey, saudi arabia and others. >> sounds like you're very skeptical what's going to happen in geneva. we'll see what happens in geneva starting november 20th. senator, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. so what is a reasonable risk? that's the question being asked by seaworld fighting a federal ruling that has changed the popular killer whale shows. we'll take a closer look at the issues and the debate coming up. over the next 40 years the united states population is going to grow by over 90 million people, and almost all that growth is going to be in cities.
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workplace safety wrapped up just a little while ago. the workplace, they're discussing is seaworld and the issue is killer whales and their trainers. let's bring in martin savidge, he's been follow package the story for us. set the scene for us. what is the issue? >> very high stakes here because ever since an accident in 2010, seaworld has not been allowed to get trainers in the water with killer whales. they're arguing to have those sanctions lifted. but osha says they need to protect the trainers. so there is a lot at stake here. listen the 2010 death of
seaworld trainer dawn brancheau brought an end to breathtaking performances like these. she was mauled by the killer whale she was working with. she was the third death connected to the same killer whale. >> all of a sudden is, the whale latched on to her and took her under. >> the occupation participational safety and health administration ultimately fined seaworld $12,000, a drop in the whale pool for a company that pulls in billion and a half dollars a year. but osha also prohibited seaworld trainers from getting into the water with its killer whales. that was a showstopper. so seaworld's appealing. and the case centers on something called the general duty clause which seemingly says employers have to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards. known hazard i guess is the key here. >> it is, yes. >> benjamin briggs as offered appeals to osha rulings and he
believes seaworld he will say interaction between humans and killer whales is essential to their business. in other words, part of the magic. is that a legitimate argument? >> i think it is a legitimate argument. again, they're taking the position that this isn't just the way we do work. it's what we're -- it's our product. >> seaworld says it's gone to great lengths to control risks to trainers but can't eliminate the danger completely and shouldn't have to. saying osha has no more right to impede seaworld's business any more than they could demand speed limits for nascar. >> the seaworld is essentially arguing that by taking the trainers out of the water, you're changing their product. and they say that osha doesn't have the authority to do that. two things showed you how high stakes things were. one, this was held in an auditorium to accommodate the cro crowd. the attorney representing seaworld, the son of antonin
scalia. >> i know you've been working the story for a while. welcome to washington. >> thank you, pleasure sfloorgs chicago's willis tower and new york's new 1 world trade center just this morning, they went head to head for the title of the tallest building in the united states. we're going to let you know which one has thing bragging rights right after the break. [ male announcer ] ever wonder why no other mouthwash feels like listerine®? because no other mouthwash works like listerine®. in your mouth, bacteria forms in layers. listerine® penetrates these layers deeper than other mouthwashes, killing bacteria all the way down to the bottom layer. so for a cleaner, healthier mouth, go with the mouthwash dentists recommend more than all others combined. #1 dentist recommended listerine®... power to your mouth™. life with crohn's diseaseded ois a daily game of "what if's". what if my abdominal pain and cramps come back? what if the plane gets delayed? what if i can't hide my symptoms? what if?
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nthat's why they deserve... aer anbrake dance. get 50% off new brake pads and shoes. brand new bragging rights for 1 world trade center. a couple of hours ago, the committee that certifies the official height of skyscrapers ruled that when it's completed, new york's world trade center tower will be the tallest building in the united states, indeed in the entire western hemisphere edging out the willis tower in chicago. you may remember that as the former sears tower.
poppy harlow is joining us now near the world trade center in lower manhattan. poppy, what put one world center over the top? >> one word. a spire. the big question here, wolf, was is that thing all the way at the top, is that a spire or is that and ten na? the council that determines these things just said it is a spire, meaning it is rt of the initial design, the construction, a fundamental part of the architecture of this symbolic building in new york city. and the height that it reaches right at the top of that spire is 1776 feet, such a symbolic number. the architects designed it to be that ha tall to symbolized the birth of our democracy, and indeed it is. i was just at the press conference where they announced this. i talked to the man who is the chairman of the council who made this determination. and we talked about the fact that you know, is this really a competition between cities new
york and chicago? or is this more than that? listen to what he told me. >> well, i think the rivalry, it's good to keep that separate. and i think just you know, the fact that our country hasn't had the tallable built for many, many years and asia and the middle east do, i think this is great for the country to have that healthy rivalry and maybe chicago can push the next time around. so i think that's healthy. i think with respect to the events of 9/11 and what this building commemorates with 1776 and the democracy and freedom, i think that's not only a u.s. thing, i think it's a global thing. so i think you know, we were very happy to find that the building fit our criteria to be 1776 feet tall. >> so what are new yorkers saying about it? one just told me, this is a city of survival and this symbolizes it. other another told us it's not important how tall the building is, just that it's here.
this has been years and years of hard hard work for so many people and it's almost open. wolf? >> all right, poppy, thanks very much for that. the tallest building in the world is in dubai. the world trade center tower willan t it's the toronto mayor's first event since a profanity-lace rant. after the break, you'll hear how one heckler welcomed rob ford back to public life.
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toronto's mayor not so warmly received at an event honoring canada's veterans. >> i would like to invite to the podium, mayor rob ford. >> it was the latest fallout from rob ford stunning admission that he smoked crack cocaine. so, how did he manage to get elected leader of a cosmopolitan city like toronto in the first place? bill weir has this look. >> reporter: politicians unintentionally funnier than the comedians that mock them. but then rob ford is unlike any politician anywhere. >> i was very, very.
>> reporter: it's all the more vivid because this is canada, a place so friendly one assumes that up here crack is just a sound made in hockey. >> canadian crack maple flavored? how is it different? >> i'm the wrong guy to ask. >> reporter: you see more proof walking into toronto city hall. there are no metal detectors here, no security, you can stroll right in, go past the cute baby visiting city records and join the scaal and just a few feet away they are giving away free health care. even to pesky americans. >> do i get a lollipop. >> yes, you did. >> reporter: you're from the states, right? >> how much would you pay if you went to your own doctor for a flu shot? >>p 75 bucks. >> reporter: this guy is shocked that we have to pay for flu shots. >> you got yours free in canada.
>> reporter: so how did a guy like him get elected in a place like this? well, in the late '90s the bursting, bustling metropolis downtown absorbed the blue collar suburbs into city elections and after almost a decade of liberal rule, rob ford ran as a good old canuck, the bicycle loving free-spending liberals downtown a thing or two. >> time to stop the gravy train. >> reporter: while he stayed on message, it was a messy campaign. >> our candidate, cant ford at the time had been caught on tape having a conversation with a drug addict where he was prepared to go buy him ox ay co rn. >> reporter: after after gaffe and scandal, his poll numbers went up. >> the suburbs wanted in and that was rob ford. >> he's the guy you want to have a beer with. >> or a few. >> reporter: and while mayor
turned city hall into a global punchline, just imagine what it's like to be rob ford's runner-up. >> that was at the highest moment of the tea party. >> reporter: his name is george smitherman and in 2010 everyone knew him as the very liberal, openly gay who presided over the botched roll out of e-health a plan to modernize the national health care cysystem. sound familiar? they even used the same contractor that brought us healthcare.gov. >> some conspiracy and a billion dollars went missing. none of that is true. >> reporter: now, here's the ironic part. when smitherman admitted an addiction to unspecified party drugs in the '90s, ford supporters pounced. >> his supporters stood in line and asked me about my fitness for office. that's the most stinging bit of it for me on a personal level. >> reporter: fitness for office is a relative term.
would you vote for him, again, if this all blew over? >> i think so. he's done what he said he would do. >> reporter: some wish to voice their support anonymously. >> would you rather have somebody taking your money? and lying to the people or just having somebody smoking crack? >> reporter: but back in the big city, flavors of ford frustration run the gamut. >> you should say now good-bye, i'm sorry and go home. >> reporter: sober calls for his exit on the top national newscast and tears from the federal finance minister. >> he'll have to, the mayor will have, at the end of the day, he has to make his own decision. >> you'd say that he's only leaving office on a stretcher or in handcuffs. >> reporter: i think so. toronto police could soon release video or wiretaps related to his friend and driver now accused of drug dealing and then the men in the notorious crackhouse photo, two shot in march, one killed, another about
to go on trial. they were suspected members of a gang called the dixon city bloods that operates in and around these high-rise low-income apartment towers home to somali and pakistani immigrants. when you meet the kids that live here. he came campaigning here? >> yes. >> reporter: knocking on doors? >> yes. everybody knows that. >> reporter: this community organizer says mayor ford asked for his vote in the hours before the last election, but he didn't give it. because he says he has to scrounge for donated computers just to have somewhere to keep these kids away from gangs and the crack pipe. >> i never see good help. i never see him at all. >> reporter: cnn, toronto. >> what a story that is, thanks to bill for bringing it to us. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room."
"newsroom" continues right now zoraida sam bolin and john berman are standing by live. live in new york along side zoraida sambolin. a former president has some advice for the current president. he says keep his word. >> bill clinton speaking out with his take on president obama's repeated promise to americans about their health care. president obama's facing intense criticism as thousands of health care plans get canceled under new obama care rules. when he campaigned for his sig nuature health care law, the president repeatedly said if you like your plan, you can keep it. now, in an interview with ozzie.com former president clinton said president obama should keep his promise.